Today in Tokyo, the President traveled to the Imperial Palace and was received by the Emperor and Empress of Japan, held a press conference with Prime Minister Abe, visited students and robots...
From: The White House
|Time: 01:38||More in News & Politics|
Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor those who perished in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. We recall the horror of what happened ninety-nine years ago, when 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, and we grieve for the lives lost and the suffering endured by those men, women, and children. We are joined in solemn commemoration by millions in the United States and across the world. In so doing, we remind ourselves of our shared commitment to ensure that such dark chapters of human history are never again repeated.
I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed. A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests. Peoples and nations grow stronger, and build a foundation for a more just and tolerant future, by acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past. We continue to learn this lesson in the United States, as we strive to reconcile some of the darkest moments in our own history. We recognize and commend the growing number of courageous Armenians and Turks who have already taken this path, and encourage more to do so, with the backing of their governments, and mine. And we recall with pride the humanitarian efforts undertaken by the American Committee for Syrian and Armenian Relief, funded by donations from Americans, which saved the lives of countless Armenians and others from vulnerable communities displaced in 1915.
As we honor through remembrance those Armenian lives that were unjustly taken in 1915, we are inspired by the extraordinary courage and great resiliency of the Armenian people in the face of such tremendous adversity and suffering. I applaud the countless contributions that Armenian-Americans have made to American society, culture, and communities. We share a common commitment to supporting the Armenian people as they work to build a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous nation.
Today, our thoughts and prayers are with Armenians everywhere, as we recall the horror of the Meds Yeghern, honor the memory of those lost, and reaffirm our enduring commitment to the people of Armenia and to the principle that such atrocities must always be remembered if we are to prevent them from occurring ever again.
7:48 P.M. JST
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good evening. Konbanwa. Your Majesties, I thank you for the extraordinary welcome that you have given to me and my delegation today, and I thank you for your gracious hospitality tonight.
Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe, distinguished guests and friends: It has been nearly 50 years since my mother first brought me to Japan, but I have never forgotten the kindness that the Japanese people showed me as a six-year-old boy far away from home. I remain grateful for the welcome that Your Majesties gave me when I returned here as President, on the 20th anniversary of your ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
And I am deeply honored to be with you as a Guest of State tonight -- which is a reflection of the great friendship between our two peoples.
It's also very humbling. I stand here as the 44th President of the United States. Your Majesty is the 125th Emperor of Japan. And your family has embodied the spirit of the Japanese people across more than two millennia. And we feel that spirit here tonight -- in His Majesty’s commitment to achieving peace and the resilience of the Japanese people, who despite difficult decades, despite the tragedies of three years ago, continue to inspire the world with your strength and discipline and dignity -- your hinkaku.
And I saw that spirit today. In the glory of the Meiji Shrine, I experienced the beauty of a religious ceremony rooted in Japan’s ancient past. In my work with Prime Minister Abe, we have strengthened our alliance for today -- an alliance that will never be broken. And in the eager students that I met, and the remarkable technologies that I saw, I glimpsed the future our nations can forge together.
Through all of this, although we are separated by vast oceans, our peoples come together every day in every realm. We create and build together, sparking new innovations for a changing world. We study and research together, unlocking new discoveries to cure disease and save lives. We go to the far corners of the Earth together -- to keep the peace and feed the hungry. And we go to space together to understand the mysteries of the universe. We stand together in moments of joy -- as when Japanese baseball players help propel America’s teams to victory. And we stand together in moments of difficulty and pain, as we did three years ago.
Your Majesty, we will never forget how, in those trying days, you spoke from this palace directly to the people of this nation. And I would like to conclude by recalling the spirit of your message then, because it also remains our wish tonight, for the friendship and alliance between our two peoples.
May we never give up hope. May we always take care of each other. And may we continue to live strong for tomorrow.
7:53 P.M. JST